Peugeot 504 Profile

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Peugeot 504 General Information

By the time the WRChampionship was created, Peugeot was already heavily involved with endurance and African style rallies. Long distance events like London-Sydney, World Cup, Liége-Sophia-Liége or Paris-Moscow-Rome but as well African rallies as the East African Safari, Morocco, Bandama were regarded as perfect proof of reliability and functionality of cars in a huge variety of conditions. When the WRChampionship was born in 1973 many car manufacturers regarded endurance & African rallies as a perfect marketing tool more so than the WRC. Yes, this was not only Peugeot - Ford, Citroen and BL (Austin, Triumph & Rover) were other makes that treated events as World Cup Rally, London-Sydney, etc. as their priority over the WRC.

Just to underline how much these events meant to the marketing departments, we look at the Safari Rally 1970 and find a strange curiosity. Although many books, journalists and even some Peugeot sources seem to believe that the 504 debuted on Tour de Corse 1970 with Guichet/Todt (read in our Jean Todt story the bit about works Peugeots and Marseille "13" reg plates), the 504 actually debuted over a year earlier in the Safari Rally 1969! I mention Safari 1970 here, because on this event the 304 was debuted, even though this car was intended for European Sprint rallies. This gives us the unique situation that on Safari 1970 Peugeot actually started with 4 entirely different works cars and a huge team: one 204, two 304, two 404 and six 504! Obviously a highly regarded event by Peugeot.

For Peugeot, they had already the 404 model as a regular winner on this style of events, i.e. the Peugeot 404 won the East African Safari Rally 4 times. So by the time the WRC started the 504 followed into the footsteps of the 404 without worrying about the WRC. The marketing success was there as is proven by the fact that to the day the 504 is considered by many to be an African rally legend. And this despite many of its Bandama victories being in years that event didn't count to the WRC. Indeed partly down to that rally marketing success, the 504 is still built in Africa today! (Update, production stopped in Mombasa/Kenya and in Nigeria in 2007 - after 40 years!)

Indeed the 504 is a perfect car for Africa. Even me as a Peugeot fan underestimated the 504 when I made jokes about the fact that new 504s in Africa are equipped with electronic car alarm standard. I received a bollocking by Kenyan friends for making jokes about this car. Of course the 504 engine never overheats, of course the simple 504 suspension has ground clearance, brilliant traction and absolutely huge load capacity, so you would be pretty stupid to steal a BMW 5-series and head off over muddy B-category roads when the police is chasing you with their 504!

In rally terms as well the 504 shared an inexplicable curiosity with the 404: The cars were prepared straight off the production line in their French factory in Sochaux, then shipped to Marshalls (East African Peugeot importer). They still had their near standard “Panhard-rod” rear axle and no anti-lock diff or anything. The result was that on African straights at speed the cars started dancing "popo shaking", the shell moving left-right over the soft rear axle. You can imagine this didn’t exactly help their driver’s comfort and confidence. Yet there was a big rule every new 404/504 driver was told by his Peugeot-experienced team mates: “Don’t correct with the steering, the car always sorts it for you!” Side effect of all this was that Japanese manufacturers tried to conquer Africa with sophisticated high-tech locking rear diffs, and in the next mud hole or black cotton section, all of them locked abruptly, the 404s and 504s stayed smooth and ploughed through all this and past their opposition as if black cotton was a motorway!

Despite successes in Argentina and the World Cup Rally, the 504 rally heritage circled very much around Africa. This was also due to the enthusiasm by the East African Peugeot importer “Marshalls”. Another novelty with Peugeot and the 504 was that alongside BMC (Mini) this was THE team and car that brought the traditional Scandinavian drivers to the frontline. When many teams were relying on local drivers or privateer support, and as well Peugeot gave cars to a number of African drivers, with the 504 program in the 1970s Peugeot had a regular driver line up consisting of Hannu Mikkola, Timo Mäkinen, Ove Andersson & Simo Lampinen, with French 504 star Jean-Pierre Nicolas only joining the frame when Andersson left to run his own business (TTE). But when the 504 story started, even these Scandinavian drivers competed in Africa with Peugeot 504s carrying Kenyan reg plates. This is important to note as a proof that as well the early 504 entries by Marshalls were in fact full works entries!

So as an example it came that on the first WRC event for the 504, Ove Andersson came 3rd on the Safari 1973 with a car prepared at Peugeot's Sochaux factory, managed through Marshalls and registered in Kenya “KPH 653”. To the 504 claim to fame also can be referred in Ove Andersson’s big CV. Andersson was Ford's star driver in the first ever season of the legendary Escort, he was one of the famous "Musketeers" and the only non-French in the Renault-Alpine A110 line up, for decades he was the Toyota WRC team boss, but only once he won a WRC event as a driver: The Safari 1975 in a 504 (this time with Sochaux reg plate)!

In the same year the Peugeot 504 also became the winner of the longest WRC event in history! The Moroccan Rallye 1975 had a layout as in modern WRC, only 3 stages on the last leg - had not one of those stages been a mindblowing 800km long! Hannu Mikkola won this rally in his works 504 with a total time of 23h30m48s, about the length of half a WRC season today!

Another amazing stop in the Peugeot 504’s own CV was the World Cup Rally 1974. Emancipation was not as big a word as it is now, but it was then only 25years old lady driver Christine Dacrement who steered her 504 to 2nd place overall after 17.600km!

The probably funniest incident with the 504 TI was on the non-WRC Bandama 1972. The event was cancelled during leg3 because there were no competitors left - all retired! Peugeot 504 driver Tony Fall complained "I should be declared the winner!". Tony had a point: The conditions were that impossible, that everybody (over 50 cars!) had retired by early leg2 - only the 504 was truly unstoppable! But by the time Tony Fall's 504 eventually got stuck in mud, causing the event to be called off, he was the only competitor still going since 28hrs - over a day! Such he got MUCH further than anybody else, the trusty 504 solved the task best by far and should be declared the winner!

Indeed even its retirements could make this car look good, as I found out on another case when I investigated why Tony Fall didn't start the Safari 1974. The answer was Peugeot took 6 new cars for 6 drivers to Kenya and Fall damaged his during recce in a flooded river - "such obviously he couldn't start". It turned out until that point Peugeot never used test cars and recce cars and in fact at the start of each marathon event the competition cars already had covered the whole distance and more! This makes all those 504 (and 404) successes yet the more incredible!

And also the team made up nicely for that Bandama 1972 scene, when nobody could finish the event. After 504s won the Bandama in 1971, 74 & 75, on the Bandama 1976 they even went better! Strangely in the 1970s the Bandama had stronger entries and better competion than it did in the late 1980s, especially in the group A era. Legendary are the Bandama battles Peugeot vs Mercedes, while in 1976 Peugeot faced opposition of Singh's Mitsubishi and Toyota, Datsun and Citroen works teams, even though in 1976 the Bandama was not a WRC round. Still, that Bandama 1976 saw the first victory of the Peugeot 504 Coupé V6 in the hands of Timo Mäkinen/Henri Liddon, followed home by Jean-Pierre Nicolas/Jean-Claude Lefèbvre, Henri Pescarolo(!)/Gerard Flocon, Christine Dacrement/Yveline Vanoni & Jean Guichet/Jean de Alexandris, all in 504 saloon cars, Peugeot claiming the top5 places! And it would have been top6 had Hannu Mikkola/Jean Todt not hit a tree stump which resulted in their 504 Coupé V6 to shear a driveshaft moments later and right in the middle of a deep mud puddle close to the finish.

The last official and international overall victory of the saloon version of the 504 came as late as 1979 on the Rally Argentina. This was another challenging marathon that suited the rugged 504 well. Formerly called "South America Grand Prix" or "Grand Premio Panamericana", an event that often changed its name, this is an event that at times went across the continent, in some years even starting in Mexico and traditionally going so high into the Anden mountains in Bolivia and Argentina that crews had to wear oxygen masks - not even the modern day Dakar Raid dares driving these sections competitively! Here too the 504 followed into the 404 foot steps and turned a winner. And in 1979 it was even a 1-2 with Jean Guichet/Jean Todt and Jean-Claude Lefèbvre/Jean-Pierre Rouget. That this was the last year before the Rally Argentina was included into the WRC (in its early WRC days the event was called Codasur Rallye for still crossing borders within the so called Codasur states) is a shame for the 504's stunning records, but didn't seem to matter in the slightest for Peugeot, at least at the time.

It was therefore that the 504 was never really a WRChampionship favourite. Well quite frankly the 504 was never designed to win WRC titles. And that makes it even more remarkable that it figures so immensly high in WRC history. For one the WRC included African rallies where the 504 would start anyway - and successfully as i.e. in 1975 the 504 won Safari, Morocco and Bandama, yet didn't even start on any of the European WRC events.

The only really big problem for the 504 and its program was that it had a close to standard 2.0 litre engine. Although in the later versions it had up to 170BHP, the 504 was a heavy car and the opposition became ever more professionally tuned. So by 1976 Peugeot replaced the 504 saloon by the 504 Coupé, which was available with a 2.7 V6 engine that could easily be tuned to 250BHP. But even then Peugeot still entered the 504 saloon alongside the Coupé V6 for some time, as indeed the 504 TI saloon’s Argentina victory was 3 years after the launch of the Coupé V6!
 

Peugeot 504 Related Content


Peugeot 504 Evolutions

 
 
Model & Evo. (Activity)
 
BHP@
RPM
Torque
(Nm)@
RPM
Length
Width
Height
Weight
(Kg/BPM
Ratio)
 
Trans.
(W'base)
Peugeot 504 GLD (73-79) 65/4500 119/2500 4480.1690.1460 1280 (19.7) RWD (2740)
Peugeot 504 TI (73-84) 170/6500 200/4500 4480.1690.1460 1350 (7.9) RWD (2740)
Peugeot 504 TN (80-88) 140/6500 180/4500 4480.1690.1460 1350 (9.6) RWD (2740)

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Peugeot 504 Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
7th. 1984 WRC Rally Argentina C. Bassi R. Syriani #32 [UNKNOWN] 12:56:23
8th. 1984 WRC Rally Argentina H. Hernandez . Coggiola #25 [UNKNOWN] 13:09:12
11th. 1982 WRC Safari Rally B. Criticos I. Smith #17 [UNKNOWN] 15:58:00
15th. 1981 WRC Safari Rally B. Criticos I. Smith #30 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
5th. 1981 WRC Rally Argentina R. Albertengo O. Alberto #19 [UNKNOWN] 17:38:35
10th. 1981 WRC Rally Argentina . Maglione J. Conception #31 [UNKNOWN] 19:11:59
12th. 1981 WRC Rally Argentina J. Maggi . UNKNOWN #28 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
7th. 1981 WRC Rallye do Brazil . Maglione J. Conception #18 [UNKNOWN] 12:24:04
11th. 1980 WRC Safari Rally B. Shankland B. Barton #16 [UNKNOWN] 9:40:00
7th. 1980 WRC Rally Argentina F. Alcuaz . UNKNOWN #49 [UNKNOWN] 15:13:03
8th. 1980 WRC Rally Argentina N. Garcia M. Tornqvist #34 [UNKNOWN] 15:38:04
10th. 1980 WRC Rally Argentina J. Maggi . UNKNOWN #37 [UNKNOWN] 16:18:59
11th. 1980 WRC Rally Argentina R. Albertengo O. Alberto #99 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
12th. 1980 WRC Rally Argentina J. Celsi E. Olave #36 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
28th. 1979 WRC Swedish Rally T. Trana . UNKNOWN #51 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
50th. 1978 WRC Swedish Rally T. Trana . UNKNOWN #114 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
15th. 1978 WRC Acropolis Rally P. Lartigue R. Ponte #97 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
7th. 1977 WRC Safari Rally B. Shankland B. Barton #16 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
19th. 1977 WRC Acropolis Rally P. Lartigue R. Ponte #49 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
9th. 1976 WRC Safari Rally J. Nicolas J. Lefèbvre #2 [UNKNOWN] 5:11:00
4th. 1976 WRC Safari Rally B. Shankland B. Barton #16 [UNKNOWN] 2:52:00
5th. 1976 WRC Safari Rally S. Lampinen A. Hertz #7 [UNKNOWN] 3:23:00
11th. 1976 WRC Acropolis Rally C. Trautmann S. Roch #52 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
13th. 1976 WRC Acropolis Rally P. Pagani F. Chatriot #109 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
5th. 1976 WRC Rally Morocco J. Lefèbvre G. Flocon #14 [UNKNOWN] 22:06:54
2nd. 1976 WRC Rally Morocco S. Lampinen A. Aho #1 [UNKNOWN] 20:42:52
1st. 1976 WRC Rally Morocco J. Nicolas M. Gamet #6 [UNKNOWN] 20:20:15
9th. 1976 WRC Rally Morocco J. Guichet J. Jaubert #24 [UNKNOWN] 22:59:05
16th. 1976 WRC Rally Morocco A. Choteau . UNKNOWN #55 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
7th. 1976 WRC Rally Morocco M. Hoepfner . "Biche" #17 [UNKNOWN] 22:40:51
8th. 1976 WRC Rally Morocco C. Dacremont Y. Vanoni #10 [UNKNOWN] 22:52:07
1st. 1975 WRC Safari Rally O. Andersson A. Hertz #26 [UNKNOWN] 11:58:00
5th. 1975 WRC Safari Rally B. Shankland C. Bates #36 [UNKNOWN] 15:01:00
5th. 1975 WRC Rally Morocco T. Mäkinen H. Liddon #4 [UNKNOWN] 28:01:03
2nd. 1975 WRC Rally Morocco B. Consten G. Flocon #15 [UNKNOWN] 25:12:03
1st. 1975 WRC Rally Morocco H. Mikkola J. Todt #6 [UNKNOWN] 23:30:48
7th. 1975 WRC Rally Morocco M. Hoepfner C. Fourton #16 [UNKNOWN] 30:51:03
8th. 1975 WRC Rally Morocco C. Trautmann M. Desvignes #23 [UNKNOWN] 30:51:06
9th. 1975 WRC Rally Morocco . Noujaim . UNKNOWN #99 [UNKNOWN] 30:57:49
7th. 1974 WRC Safari Rally B. Shankland C. Bates #50 [UNKNOWN] 14:02:00
8th. 1974 WRC Safari Rally P. Huth P. Hechle #21 [UNKNOWN] 14:41:00
6th. 1973 WRC Safari Rally H. Lionnet P. Hechle #17 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
3rd. 1973 WRC Safari Rally O. Andersson J. Todt #7 [UNKNOWN] 8:47:00
5th. 1973 WRC Safari Rally P. Huth J. McConnell #28 [UNKNOWN] 12:07:00
10th. 1973 WRC Rally Morocco C. Trautmann M. Palayer #25 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Peugeot 504 Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1987 WRC Rally Argentina C. Menem . UNKNOWN #38 [UNKNOWN] SS8 crash
Ret. 1984 WRC Rally Argentina F. Alcuaz D. Muzio #26 [UNKNOWN] SS7 engine
Ret. 1984 WRC Rally Argentina J. Maggi . UNKNOWN #11 [UNKNOWN] SS11 crash
Ret. 1984 WRC Rally Argentina C. Garro M. Tornqvist #12 [UNKNOWN] SS14 head gasket
Ret. 1984 WRC Rally Argentina C. Menem . UNKNOWN #71 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1983 WRC Rally Argentina J. Maggi . UNKNOWN #15 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1982 WRC Rallye do Brazil C. Garro M. Tornqvist #15 [UNKNOWN] SS6 engine
Ret. 1982 WRC Acropolis Rally R. Streit J. Maigret #79 [UNKNOWN] SS29 ?
Ret. 1982 WRC Rallye de Portugal R. Streit J. Maigret #81 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1981 WRC Rally Argentina F. Alcuaz . UNKNOWN #11 [UNKNOWN] SS9 engine
Ret. 1981 WRC Rally Argentina C. Garro M. Tornqvist #7 [UNKNOWN] SS4 engine
Ret. 1979 WRC Bandama Rallye J. Durieu P. Tastet #43 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1979 WRC Bandama Rallye P. Moreau . UNKNOWN #7 [UNKNOWN] SS99 withdrawn
Ret. 1978 WRC Bandama Rallye R. Touroul D. le Saux #13 [UNKNOWN] SS1 ?
Ret. 1978 WRC Safari Rally P. Shiyukah . UNKNOWN #64 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1978 WRC Safari Rally B. Shankland B. Barton #10 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1978 WRC Safari Rally R. Collinge A. Levitan #8 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1977 WRC Safari Rally H. Mikkola A. Hertz #12 [UNKNOWN] SS99 distributer
Ret. 1977 WRC Safari Rally J. Guichet G. Flocon #22 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1976 WRC Rally Morocco P. Lartigue . UNKNOWN #93 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1976 WRC Acropolis Rally P. Lartigue . UNKNOWN #56 [UNKNOWN] SS22 crash
Ret. 1975 WRC Rally Morocco P. Pagani . UNKNOWN #10 [UNKNOWN] SS99 stuck in sand
Ret. 1975 WRC Rally Morocco C. Dacremont M. Palayer #22 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1975 WRC Safari Rally H. Mikkola J. Todt #7 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1975 WRC Safari Rally T. Mäkinen H. Liddon #1 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1974 WRC Safari Rally T. Fall M. Wood #6 [UNKNOWN] SS99 crash
Ret. 1974 WRC Safari Rally T. Mäkinen J. Davenport #5 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine (camshaft)
Ret. 1974 WRC Safari Rally O. Andersson A. Hertz #4 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine (camshaft)
Ret. 1974 WRC Safari Rally H. Mikkola J. Todt #1 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine (valves)
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally Morocco H. Mikkola A. Aho #10 [UNKNOWN] SS99 clutch
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally Morocco T. Fall M. Wood #11 [UNKNOWN] SS99 suspension
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally Morocco T. Mäkinen H. Liddon #13 [UNKNOWN] SS99 clutch
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally Morocco J. Guichet J. Todt #19 [UNKNOWN] SS99 suspension
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally Morocco B. Consten G. Flocon #8 [UNKNOWN] SS99 suspension
Ret. 1973 WRC Safari Rally B. Shankland C. Bates #8 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1973 WRC Safari Rally P. Parsons . UNKNOWN #14 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?